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Big bang predictions

  1. Feb 24, 2009 #1

    I am trying to understand how it is possible to make predictions about the energy density of early universe using the freidman equation if the expansion rate of the universe has not been constant throughout history. As I understand it there are three main variables in the freidman equation, the energy density, the hubble constant squared (the expansion rate of the universe) and the shape of space (K). We know today that space is flat (or very close to flat) but in order to calculate anything with the other two variables one of them must also be known. I thought that the expansion rate was first thought to accelerate, decrease, and is now accelerating again and that as the universe has expanded that radiation particles has become redshifted and lost energy changing the energy density. With these two unfixed variables how can you say anything certain about either one? As you can probably guess this is all very new to me so maybe I am missing something very obvious but maybe I would be thankful if someone can try and clue me in...?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 24, 2009 #2


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    The Friedmann equation comes from the 00 component of the field equations, but we also have the acceleration equation which comes from the trace. This gives a set of two equations in two variables.
  4. Feb 25, 2009 #3


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    No need to use the Friedmann equation. Just use conservation of stress-energy and the scale factor.

    Of course, if you want this as a function of time, you have to use the Friedmann equation, but if doing it as a function of either redshift or scale factor is your concern, there's no need.
  5. Feb 25, 2009 #4
    Ok, I didn't know about the seperate Friedmann acceleration equation. Thanks for the help!
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